Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Dec 16 2013 22:18:27

Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

By: Ina Steiner

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It's the height of the shopping season - today is historically the busiest shipping day of the year. And indeed, the line at the Post Office this morning was out the door, and I think a package that arrived for me this evening was flung from the window of the delivery truck as it barely paused in front of my house before speeding on to its next delivery.

Reuters said back-to-back weekends with some disruption caused by weather could lead to more online shopping. And Wednesday, December 18th, is Free Shipping day, a marketing gimmick designed to shake loose all those procrastinators.

It might be the season to be jolly, but when you realize Christmas Day is just a week-plus-change away and you haven't checked everyone off your list of gifts to buy, shoppers tend to get a bit cranky.

And while most online merchants keep calm and carry on, they know they are doomed to receive some bad feedback ratings this time of year as the result of shoppers with unreasonable expectations even for circumstances outside the seller's control - such as delivery schedules and packaging mishaps.

Online sellers are already experiencing returns from shoppers who didn't wait quite so long to do their holiday shopping, and are finding many requests absurdly unreasonable - "a 12-inch ruler was too small," or "the item I ordered from you yesterday isn't hear yet" kind of complaints.

Have you run into the Cranky Shopper, and how is your feedback holding up this holiday shopping season?




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Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Dec 16 23:57:21 2013

We sure get our share of rude, nasty & totally unreasonable buyers this time of year. Whilst sales are good - there is a price to pay in the form of unreasonable feedback & dsr's which we don't seem to encounter for the rest of the year.

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 17 00:30:27 2013

In order to have a rude nasty or unrealistic buyer one would need to HAVE a buyer in the first place.

Thanks ebay from sparing me this fresh hell.

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

This user has validated their user name. by: Jessy

Tue Dec 17 01:35:50 2013

One of the busiest days. 3 sales. eBay Thanks You.  

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: queenkim98 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 17 03:45:16 2013

oh yeah.......got a case against me now for snad.  I've sold the same thing that was described to hundreds of other buyers..who said it was as described.  Yet this one didn't read the listing and its my fault!

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 17 05:17:28 2013

For the first time in ALL my years at eBay, my holiday sales are flat. Nada. And I started over in my store with new inventory.

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

This user has validated their user name. by: Captain Nemo

Tue Dec 17 06:23:29 2013

Best holiday sales in 3+ years.  20+ sales per day since last week.  I feel like it's 2002.

Only 3 returns so far - 1 sent to the wrong address (that they provided), 1 thought they were buying something completely different (a ring?  I thought I was buying a catfood bowl), and 1 thought 10 inches = 10 feet.  

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: shannonsplace This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 17 08:09:06 2013

Yes, many buyers extremely rude at this time of year. I have thought every year about not listing as it gets close to Christmas. A lot of buyers -instead of spending time with there families on Christmas day- are busy leaving the nastiest feedback they can think of and filing cases against sellers because they didn't order early enough to get it on time. Merry Christmas to all!

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 17 10:34:48 2013

Shipped out 10 orders yesterday, busiest day of the Christmas season.  Nothing to ship today and I anticipate but one or two orders til Christmas.  

In 13 Christmas seasons on eBay, I always hoped Christmas sales, profits and cashflow would carry over a few months into the new year, but that has never happen.  Isn’t that what real business in the mall do?  The Christmas money seems to run out the day after Christmas.  

No returns yet.  Will the first be the idiot buyer who leaves negative feedback followed by eBay terminating me along with thousands of others?

At least I now have free time to write Christmas cards.  Use to include a 2 dollar gift card but that seems to be history.  

Happy Holidays!!!

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Dec 17 10:52:08 2013

I got my first negative in years of selling and a nasty one at that on Sunday. The PO goofed up and the tracking showed the item would be delivered on Monday, but that wasn't good enough for the buyer. She filed a dispute with PP and when I pointed out that her item should arrive the next day and it was a PO problem she escalated to a claim with PP on the same day. Well she received her package on Monday and then a very nice apology which stunned me and also wrote to ecrater for them to remove the negative! Ecrater being such a nice place to sell did!

Other than that, no picky, cranky sellers. I usually have slow sales in December due to what I sell but after a slow first 3 weeks in November things picked up the last week and are still going fairly good considering I sell sewing patterns which aren't usually a present but things made with them are so the are usually bought earlier in the year and fall. Last year I did get a goof that bought a coat pattern and then was upset that she got a coat pattern as she had expected a brand new coat for $10 as a present! Some people just don't read and I don't know how many times I try to explain that I sell sewing patterns people will still buy one thinking they are getting the garment themselves telling me they want the blue dress or whatever.

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Dec 17 11:21:11 2013

Based on some of the responses I've read above, one has to wonder if eBay have "throttled" certain sellers during the holidays.

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

This user has validated their user name. by: Captain Nemo

Wed Dec 18 09:24:43 2013

I have been closely monitoring USPS shipments, especially Priority and Express, and so far, so good.  Everything is working as it should, in the timeframes it should.

Also, I've not had a a single label issue on Ebay or Etsy or Paypal or Click n' Ship. That's a first for me during a holiday season.  Knock on wood.

Happy Holidays ebyte peoples!

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: Small Guy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 18 11:16:46 2013

Remember the ''old days'' when you had a personal face-to-face relationship with your local merchant.  He or she wanted you to be happy and return as a customer.

Then came, mail-order catalogs, and big-box stores, and varying degrees of customer service, return rules, receipts, in-store credit, and so on.

Now we are entering an age of ''Take it or leave it''... I'll just replace you with a hundred more Internet customers.  Customer Service, what's that?

We are now in an ''Out of sight - Out of mind'' Internet culture.  Correct that... ''Out of Country - Out of Mind''.

We recently booked a hotel on a major Internet ''discount'' booking site.  When we got to the out-of-state motel we found we were paying $129 for a room we could have booked direct for $77.

Brings new meaning to the phrase ''Buyer Beware''.

Sadly, I wonder how many people just pay their credit card bill without checking accuracy.

I know, I know, I'm just getting old.

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: AuctionMonkey This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 18 11:32:29 2013

We never get complaints, perhaps 1 small issue every few weeks which we easily resolve. But not THIS month, no siiiirrrrrr... 5 in a day! Insane complaints about things obviously written in the listing or buyer remorse. And emails like "I don't want to have to give you negative feedback, but..."

2014 will be the year of the BYE BYE EBAY HELLO WEBSITE ONLY festivities for sure. :D

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Wed Dec 18 15:08:28 2013

Gosh, AuctionMonkey, Nemo says everything is champagne and roses at his/her end! :o)

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Dec 18 15:13:13 2013

@Moonwishes: I hear you. I sold a sewing pattern a couple years ago for a baby crib set (I sometimes sell vintage home goods and paper items like that). The buyer apparently didn't read the title or description or even look at the photos, all of which stated/showed a sewing pattern. They honestly thought they were getting a crib set for $5.99? The feedback left claimed it wasn't what they expected but was their own fault, yet they still left me a 1 for the as-described DSR. Don't you love customers like that?

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

This user has validated their user name. by: Captain Nemo

Wed Dec 18 19:52:05 2013

Hey Puck, it's the truth, and not just for me.  Online sales are huge this year - waaay up!  Perhaps 15% or more, and all retail is also up.

Everyone complains on here, but the fact is that retail sales have been on a good uptrend since 2011, and this years numbers will be the best ever - beating the 2007 highs before the ''crash''.

You might take a look at the stock market too.  Oh, and housing prices are also beginning to move up.

Keep your doom and gloom, things ARE looking up.  

Perminate Link for Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers   Tis the Season for Crazy, Frantic, Picky Holiday Shoppers

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 13:56:51 2013

I want to thank all of my customers. We have had a few picky or unreasonable souls but we are going to focus on the 99.9 percent who were great.
Retail business lost 112 billion last year so you are going to have those, it is too bad ebay believes it is always the sellers fault.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all of my customers and you to ebay, even you JD even though we are wishing for you to get run over by a reindeer.



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